NowPublic’s News Network Secures $10.6 Million
Backfence.com folded about a month ago, and many onlookers interpreted that as a death knell for hyperlocal news sites. The “participatory news network” of NowPublic is doing just fine, however – the company has received $10.6 million in funding.
A press release calls the investment “the largest single commitment to citizen generated news yet assembled by a company in the category,” and off the top of my head, I can’t think of any reason to argue with that statement. NowPublic is also claiming to have accumulated over 100,000 “contributing reporters” – an impressive feat.
If you haven’t heard of this site, you’re probably thinking that it falls on the “fresh” side of the new media-old media debates. NowPublic is, after all, on the Web, and not every one of those 100,000 reporters is as well-known as Bernstein and Woodward. Yet NowPublic has worked with the AP, the New York Times, and The Guardian.
“NowPublic is perfectly positioned to be the bridge between traditional and new media with its unique methods of crowd-sourcing news events, its unparalleled network of contributors and its open platform,” stated Merrill Brown, NowPublic’s chairman. “This round of financing will enable NowPublic to further its goal of being the largest news network in the world with more people on the ground in the right places and at the right times to report news.”
At this moment, the top article on NowPublic is “A Passenger dead at Caracas metro crash,” CNN.com is stateside with “Police: 3 more tiny bodies found where infant died,” and the New York Times site has documented the death of Ingmar Bergman. It’s hard to say which story is “best” or most important, but NowPublic is definitely keeping up with the crowd.
Hat tip to GigaOM’s Liz Gannes.